Chapter 260: The Undead Lord's Puppet
Translator: Atlas Studios Editor: Atlas Studios
This short period felt like centuries for Lin Li. The continuous whispers reverberated in the ears like the twittering in the night and the soft breathing. The boundless darkness was slowly disappearing, and in its place was rainbow light. It was as if the s.p.a.ce in between black and white had suddenly been filled with a myriad of colors, causing the whole world to become alive.
Lin Li's weak strand of mental strength was carefully and prudently moving around in this colorful world.
What he needed now was an exit. Even if it was a small hole, as long as he could insert this trace of mental strength into it, he would have the confidence to leave his own brand and completely control this abnormal crystal just like how he'd obtained control over the Brand Of Dusk.
But the process was harder than what Lin Li had imagined. The whole rainbow world seemed to be protected by some sort of energy. When his mental strength had just gotten closer, it would be immediately reflected. There was not a single opening or suture to be found. It was like a sphere with no openings.
Time was ticking by…
Lin Li's forehead was full of sweat. He knew that he did not have much time left. What was waiting could only be completely losing his mental strength if he were to continue dragging it, and then finally he would die from exhaustion. Lin Li could even feel that the rate of depletion of his mental strength was increasing. It was like surging waters, incessantly flowing into that abnormal crystal…
Towards the end, Lin Li had already given up.
There was no room to struggle. The only thing he could do was to wait for death to come knocking.
“Just which a.s.shole was it that's so immoral. He actually hid a crystal in the Nightmare Mountains to harm others…” The mental strength was running out quickly, which meant Lin Li's mind had been pushed to the limits. His head was feeling heavy. The only thing he could think about was to curse that a.s.shole that had placed the crystal in the cave to harm others.
“F*ck, I'll fight it out with you!” The situation could not get any worse. At this time, looking for an opening was useless. When the last remaining strand of mental strength was about to be lost, Lin Li finally gritted his teeth tightly. He did not care what sort of power was protecting this rainbow world anymore. He also did not care what sort of injuries he would sustain if this last strand of mental strength was lost. He had seemingly made his decision in an instant.
Lin Li completely gave up control of his mental strength. He let it surge straight into the crystal. At the same time, he was constantly invoking mana and letting it attack this rainbow world.
This was decision similar to seeking death…
It was either he created an opening, or he would die in the Aurora Square.
When the mental strength and mana had surged out together, Lin Li's face immediately became pale. This feeling was like his blood and flesh had been sucked out, leaving behind an empty sh.e.l.l. His whole body felt like jelly, and he could not muster any strength. His mind was empty. He could not feel the existence of anything except for that bit of mental strength that he had released…
After that, he suddenly realized that a gap had appeared within this rainbow world!
“I'm saved!” The appearance of this gap was like a ray of light that had appeared in the pitch-black night for Lin Li. He did not hesitate at all and steered the remaining mental strength towards that gap…
What followed immediately was a “POM!”
While his mind was in a whirl, Lin Li only felt that the world was collapsing. The rainbow lights that were in front had seemingly shattered into countless fragments in an instant. The rainbow-colored fragments were fluttering amidst the dark red light. It was more magnificent than fireworks in a night sky, but Lin Li discovered immediately afterwards that those countless rainbow-colored fragments seemed to be controlled by some sort of power. They scattered at times, and then they ama.s.sed together. In the end, they formed a rainbow stream of light and surged into his mind.
At that moment, Lin Li had seemingly seen the back of somebody.
It was an emaciated back of somebody wearing a long black robe. He was quietly standing there in this rainbow light stream, but he was unusually harmonious. What made Lin Li panic-stricken was that the aura permeating from his body was exactly the same as the black fog released by Garat. Just when Lin Li was about to release a strand of mental strength to check things out due to the sudden change, he suddenly heard a sound coming from afar.
“Immortal ruler, you shall use the bones as a scepter and retake the crown!”
After that, everything suddenly disappeared without a trace. All that was left behind was a rainbow light stream which surged into his mind in an instant…
As the countless rainbow-colored fragments had turned into a stream of light, they were buried deep within Lin Li's memory while flowing into his mind. Lin Li realized that this had to be some creature's memories. It was just that these memories seemed to have been tampered with. They were messy and fragmented. It was either a sound, a picture, or just a feeling.
In the instant when they were flowing, Lin Li had tried to interpret some useful information from within, but he quickly realized it was a waste of effort. These fragmented memories were too messy, and were not related to each other. It was more practical to count on Andoine suddenly becoming a master pharmacist than to try and interpret anything useful from this…
Lin Li filtered through these countless memory fragments, and the only thing he got in return was that he found out that there was indeed a powerful existence called “Immortal King” during the Dark Ages more than a thousand years ago.
It was just that there were no leads to be found from memory fragments about the origins of this “Immortal King” and what he had done during the Dark Ages…
In the end, Lin Li had to give up.
When he had finally regained his senses, everything in front of him had already disappeared. Be it that colorful world or that thick black fog, it all completely disappeared without a trace after that sudden change. This time Lin Li had already regained control of his body. He lowered his head and looked at himself. He was still holding the Aether Staff and wearing the Rune Robe. The only thing that was different was that the dark red crystal he was holding tightly in his right hand had an unearthly light seeping out from the cracks…
I guess I'm lucky. I did not throw my life away… Lin Li could not help but become covered in a cold sweat all over his body when thinking back about that hair-raising battle. The situation back then could be said to be as odious as it could be. If he was just a little more unlucky, he would not have been able to escape from exhausting himself to death.
This type of mental strength battles was always the most dangerous. Even though Lin Li had not used magic from the beginning to the end, it was more dangerous than fights with knives and guns. One mistake would cause complete destruction of the body, up until the soul. Even a trace of Soul Branding could not be left behind. This way of dying was the most thorough, and there was no way to be saved.
Lin Li wiped off the cold sweat off his forehead. When he turned his head around, he suddenly realized that the Aurora Square was eerily silent. Everyone's gaze had been set on him simultaneously. It was as if what they saw was not a trial apprentice, but a bipedal magical beast.
“What is going on?” Lin Li was in a daze. His mind was constantly having misgivings. Could it be that when the black fog permeated the area, he had done something shocking again? No, no, since the black fog had permeated the square, they would not have been able to see it even if he had done something, right?
Lin Li suddenly saw that his opponent, Mage Garat from Far Seeing City, was kneeling down on one knee and both his hands were raised above his head while holding the scepter. His expression was full of devotion and reverence. The current Garat did not look like an opponent that was trying to kill him. It was more like he became his most devoted disciple.
“Great Immortal King, welcome back!”
Garat's voice was still as hoa.r.s.e and deep as before. In the gigantic Aurora Square, n.o.body other than Lin Li could hear what he was saying, but that posture of him kneeling down had started a commotion among the audience instantly. The sound of thousands of mages discussing it had instantaneously made the whole Aurora Square chaotic. Everyone was guessing what had happened in that black fog just now, why was the victorious Garat kneeling down, and why hadn't that mage from Jarrosus been swallowed by the black fog?
Question after question appeared, but there was no answer for any of them—what transpired had been too fast, plus there had been black fog covering their bodies suddenly. It looked like it had a life of its own. It had just arisen from Garat's body, and started forming all sorts of shapes. It spread out at times, and gathered together afterwards. In the end, it became a streak of black smoke and flew far away amidst a cackle that was similar to that of a nightbird…
“F*ck, just what is the Immortal King!” Lin Li stood in the Aurora Square and watched that black smoke disappear in a daze. His mind bore an indescribable annoyance because before the black smoke dissipated, Lin Li had heard another voice coming from within his mind. It was hoa.r.s.e and deep, and it was also baffling. “Great Immortal King, you have finally awakened in the Skeleton Realm…”
“Awake your mother's a*s…” Lin Li swore angrily. This cliffhanging behavior is most hateful. It makes your heart itch, yet it does not tell you what is going on…
Wait a minute…
Lin Li was in a daze again when he stopped scolding midway.
He suddenly remembered the direction the black smoke dissipated in—wasn't it the route to the Shadowglen?
Could it be this was all because of the trials that had taken place a month or so ago?
The more Lin Li thought about it, the more frightened he was. He had experienced that level Death Energy from that black fog before. In a more exaggerated manner, even if it was a person on Andoine's level, he might not do any better than Lin Li. It was not a power that humans could compete with, especially so for the mental strength resistance. It made Lin Li break out in cold sweat just by thinking about it. How could Lin Li not be aware about the condition of his mental strength? Yet, Lin Li felt like an ant trapped in a spider's web when his mental strength was being extracted by that crystal. He had no room to struggle; he could but watch as he closed in on death…
Thinking about what had happened in the black fog, Lin Li suddenly felt that the crystal in his hand started to burning…
“So who won?” Both of the judges stood far away and looked at each other. They could not come to a conclusion after a long while. Based on logic, the victor of this battle should be the Jarrosus mage because he was still standing and his opponent was already down…
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But there was a question amidst everything…
“…” Lin Li immediately felt like crying and laughing. He held it back for a while before he finally squeezed out a single word. “Yes!”
“Yes, but this type of potion is really troublesome. After you drink it, there will be some minor side effects…”
“What side effects…?”
“After you beat the Archmage, you will die…”
While they were conversing, the lots for the final six had already been drawn. Lin Li's luck was pretty decent, for he was matched with a level-thirteen Magic Shooter that was a spent bullet, but Matthias was slightly unluckier. His opponent was a genuine level-fourteen Magic Shooter, but for Matthias, this was nothing much.
The unluckiest would naturally be Mason. He had actually been matched with Gryffindor. Thinking about this guy's beastly strength, Mason could not help but have cold sweat. The judges had yet to announce the start of the third round, and this guy had already begun planning on how to lose with more dignity…
“Oh, yes, Felic!” Lin Li was helping Mason come up with strategies when he suddenly heard Macklin's voice coming from the back. “Garat's awake.”
“Really?” Lin Li immediately came to his senses, and he did not discuss with Mason methods how to lose with more dignity anymore. He hurriedly pulled Macklin to the side. “Did he say anything about the black fog?”
“He said he doesn't know…”
“Then did he say why he has such a strong Death Energy?”
“He also said he doesn't know…”
“Why does he not know anything?” Lin Li was really distressed. This Garat is really absurd. He released such strong Death Energy and almost killed me. After regaining consciousness, he does not know anything. Is he purposely s.c.r.e.w.i.n.g with me?
“No choice, he said he forgot everything…”
“Why doesn't he die…”
“No, no, no, I think he really forgot…” Macklin shook his head before continuing, “Because before he woke up, I used Mana Detector to observe him. The Death Energy in his body had completely disappeared. Now, he's just a normal level-fourteen Magic Shooter, or maybe one slightly stronger than Sa.r.s.en. But he definitely is not strong enough to kill you…”
“You mean that that energy did not belong to Garat?”
“What the h.e.l.l!?” Lin Li really felt like killing somebody. Such a weird situation had happened to him, but all the strings were cut loose at the end. This whole incident had become a mystery without clues. Did he really have to follow what that voice had said and awaken from the skeleton something in order to find out what had happened to his body? F*ck, I am not that free, either…
“If I am not mistaken, this incident is most likely related to those two Undead Lords at the Shadowglen. Garat also said that on the fifth day after he entered the Shadowglen, he encountered an unrivaled undead creature. After that, he completely lost his memory, and finally regained his consciousness only now…” When Macklin said this, his expression was somewhat fearful. Those two Undead Lords at the Shadowglen were powerhouses that existed since the Dark Ages. n.o.body knew how powerful they were currently. Even the number one mage in Felan, Aldwin, did not have the confidence to face them, not to mention Macklin, a level-eighteen Archmage…
Once Lin Li heard this, he took in a deep breath and looked at Macklin in disbelief. “Are you telling me that just now I was fighting with a puppet controlled by the Undead Lord, and not Garat?”
“It's very likely…”
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